They don't just look posh, I find writing with a fountain pen to be more relaxing (it just "flows"), nicer and generally looks better too. Plus, I got into the habit of writing with a cheap Parker during uni and it sort of stuck.
...although I really just used biro's at work because I was going through too many pens at the time. It can get quite busy and the pen tends to roll off the gas machine onto the floor thus damaging the nib. I found I was getting though 1 pen every 6 months or so just because I kept dropping the damned things .
So I abandoned them for the free and plentiful biro-type pens (free from the multiple reps) at work.
However, I recently brought my trusty Shaeffer Prelude out of "retirement" and got used to using it again.
Guess what......lasted 3 days and I dropped it again .
Before this one I owned a £30ish Waterman (can't remember what one), before that a rotring (I think) and before that a Parker etc etc.
So I bought a cheap Parker (£25 Urban) which lasted 25min before leaking everywhere including my paperwork and hands .
So that went back to the shop.
After hunting around on the net I was going to go with Sheaffer again (Iridescent Green Prelude) before this caught my eye:
Firstly, I liked the looks of it and also know that I preferred chunkier and heavier pens so it looked just the ticket. A minor point was that I absolutely HATE the colour gold (even real gold - I think it looks cheap and tacky) so this being all silver/wood was an added bonus. I also like the fact that it simply has Faber-Castell's name on the lid and is otherwise unblemished by markings and hyperbole....really nicely designed.
I also got a free leather case to go with it
although obviously it comes with it's own case
I chose a 'fine' nib as I prefer thinner writing
As you can see, the nib is quite flexible (made of stainless-steel, polished to match the chrome of the lid and end) and there is a marked difference between writing gently and a more firm stroke (which becomes twice as thick). Approx measurements are 0.25mm to 0.5mm line thickness depending on how hard you push down (ignore the top two lines in the image below).
There are three colours available (brown/dark brown/black) - all different stains of the pearwood barrel. I chose Dark brown with matching case. In case you're wondering, the barrel isn't "made of" wood, it's just "encased in" wood as the following blurry interior pic shows
...metal all the way....so the wood is a "chunky sleeve" that surrounds the barrel.
OK so how does it write?
Well, I know that the ink is meant to be a factor so I chose one which is meant to be "smooth" and which is also extremely black - Diamine Onyx Black.
This has to be the blackest ink I have ever used (and the blackest one Diamine sell - I actually prefer a v v slight hue to my inks so my plan is to wait until the bottle is <1/4 full and mix with 3/4 "other colour" (purple/brown I'm thinking)).
Anyway, it writes beautifully. Really nice feel - I would say both "sumptious" and "warm" at the same time.
I notice there have been some comments in other reviews about the grip being poor because of the all metal finish but I disagree, it seems fine to me.
Also, it is just as comfortable to write with with grip forward fully on the metal as it is further back half on metal and half on wood.
Very smooth and allows me to write quickly and comfortably.
As you can see, my writing is very messy , but the ink flows consistently from the nib and there are no skips from the nib (in case you can't read it, it says My handwriting is very messy but here is the pen posted -> and here it is unposted (both very similar). Fine Nib with DIAMINE ONYX BLACK)
So what's this about unpostability?
Rubbish imho. I can post the pen absolutely fine and NO it DOESN'T fall off. I tested by writing a side of A4 and no issues at all.
The only issue you might find is the added weight. I took the liberty of weighing it and here are the results:
unposted = 30g
posted = 52g
So the cap alone nearly doubles the weight of the pen. I haven't quite decided on how I'll use it myself as I find it quite comfortable regardless of where the cap is, however, my previous pens have all weighed roughly 30g so unposted feels more "usual" to me at the moment.....i'll just have to see how I get on with it as I do like a weightier feel and I do like having the cap on when I write.
As an aside, most shops tend to classify pens in descriptions such as light/medium/heavy. However, no one ever qualifies this. Is there a rough rule-of-thumb by which they're classed? Such as <30=light, 30-50=medium, >50=heavy? Or is it all just completely random?
Anyway, back to the pen, other things of note include the fact that the lid screws on/off (not a "pull" on/off type) and the clip is a great little spring-loaded design that's easy to use and grips in the shirt pocket well.
The piston ink convertor appears to my eye to be quite generous (larger than the Parkers and Sheaffers at any rate) so I'm hoping 1 fill up will last me a couple of days at least.
What about the price?
The RRP of Pen + Leather Case = £82.50 + £25 = £107.50
I got this from Cult Pens for £66 all in inc. free delivery
At the price I bought it for, I would definitely recommend this pen. It's a medium-ish weight and the cap does stay posted if you wish to use it like that. With cap off, it's lighter and shorter but not too short that it would be difficult to hold, it's still comfortable either way.
The nib flows nicely and, combined with the chunkier grip, it's really nice to hold and use.
Will I being using it at work?
No way - I think I'll get a cheap plastic £7 thing from a carousel/vending machine for work, this one's staying at home.
BTW, in the UK I found 1 shop selling replacement nibs for about £31 so spares are available quite easily if you need them.
EDIT: Sorry, just noticed the sticky about how to score things, so I'll add them in here as an addendum:
Appearance & Design 10/10 - This is a beautiful pen, from the info/piccies above, you can see I love clean lines and "unfussy" form factor. The pen certainly is chunky, but it isn't cluttered up by "extra" features or "extra" writing....definitely top marks here
Construction & Quality 9/10 - Beautifully well made and put together, from the way the cap screws off/on to the way the metal endcap at the back sits perfectly aft of the wood (no big "step" in between), this pen makes you feel like it's well thought out and well put together. Feels like it'll last a very long time.
Weight & Dimensions 9/10 - Full bodied and chunky. This pen has a nice ergonomic feel in the hand and I feel it helps tremendously in being able to write smoothly with it. It also benefits by writing well regardless of where your fingers grip the shaft (toward the front or further back) - because it still fills your hand. However, I find the weight a difficult one to score because it goes from 30-52g depending on wether it's posted or not as mentioned above. So based on the fact that I am used to 30g pens, I'd give it 10/10 unposted, but due to the fact that it's VERY much heavier posted (even though I myself don't mind it) I'd score it 8/10 posted.......so it averages out to 9/10.
Nib & Performance 6.5/10 - Wet and smooth, but well controlled. I'm actually not used to flex in my nibs (my previous pens all gave pretty much the same line regardless of how firm I pushed) so, purely because I'm not used to it, I'd give it 6-7 here. Of course, those of you who like a bit of flex will love it. I'll also add that even though fine, when held firmly, I thought it was thick enough to be medium and had to double check the engraving on the nib to confirm it was F......so it's thicker than other thin nibs I've used but still thinner than the average medium one (if that makes any sense).
Filling System & Maintenance 9/10 - The convertor is a piston type and appears to be v slightly larger than my previous Parker and Sheaffer so it scores well here. I've had no problems filling-er-up and there are no leaks either at nib end or between convertor and pen (unlike my previous Parker).
Cost & Value 10/10 - Baring in mind I paid nearly 40% less for this (inc. case) it has to be top marks here.
Conclusion (Final score 9/10) - The only real surprise for me was the nib (being used to harder ones) but even then it's mainly a case of me getting used to it rather than it being bad (it's actually lovely to write with)
Edited by Gaffer, 19 May 2010 - 20:53.